Tuesday, 30 September 2008

The last day of September

Wow...this year is absolutely flying by. Tomorrow is October already. Christmas is beginning to figure in conversations and Tesco has already got it's decorations and advent calendars etc out already, they had stuff in their "seasonal" aisle before the kids went back to school after summer! Good grief (in the words of Charlie Brown).
Anyway I finally got a nice head again after a very dodgy week. I have actually made beads today and lots of them. Not sure how many are sellable cos I have been trying to play with different techniques and with very little success I might add! I soooo need to go for more lessons to refine and learn some techniques! Goodness there is so much I want to do! Main problem with this is money!!! or rather complete lack of it! I know good things come to those who wait and all that but I am so impatient I want to do it now! What first: glass or art clay / PMC mmmmm...got some thinking to do. The other big problem is that I am fairly alone in my neck of the woods. There are a few lampworkers that I am aware of but I am not sure if they do lessons and there are certain things I want help with and I ought to research prospective teachers so I tap into those who are good at certain things. Does that make sense?

I want to learn how to encase. I have read up on it and tried a few different techniques but quite frankly my encasing sucks. Encasing gets used in so many different things and as much as I try to avoid it I think it would be useful for me to practise it. I need someone to watch me muck it up and then guide me!

I want to learn how to use my dichroic strips that I have bought. Every time I use them they devit (I think that is the technical term!) They go scummy!!! (my term!)

I want to learn how to use murrini without burning the hell out of it.

I want to be able to control stringers so I can make nice neat wavy lines and swirls with it!

Some of this is heat and flame control and honestly there are times when I think God Sam you have been doing this for a year now you should at least have sorted out flame control. Well I have for dots!! but there are only so many dots a gal can do! On top of that although I started beading in July 2007 I only average about 8 hours a week on the torch and that is generally in 3 0r 4 stints so I am not getting continuity! That is approx 500 hours torch time since July 2007. Sounds a lot but compare that to 2250 hours if I was doing this full time, no wonder I am still struggling to get things sorted! I need more time on the torch but I also need someone to sit with me occasionally to help guide me!

Enough of that now I had better be off, I have a busy day tomorrow, there are quite a few people bugging me to go to see my GP cos I am struggling a bit so I gotta sort that out. Tomorrow is also pay day so I get to do the monthly shop yipee!!! and it is my day off so I am with my youngest as well, not sure what the weather forecast is maybe I can push her on the swings again for ages!!! :-)


Sunday, 28 September 2008

New week coming up.

Well there goes another weekend! At least the weather has been nice. What have you all been up to? I spent yesterday making the pendant I posted in yesterdays blog entry as well as taking my youngest daughter to the park. She loves the park, she could quite happily spent days on the swings, personally that swinging motion makes me feel quite sick!!!

I really enjoyed making the fingerprint hearts and have decided that I am going to make them to sell and I am signing up to do the instructors course so I can teach it. This in combination with my glass beads makes for quite a cool business I hope. I have also been pootling around the internet looking at jewellery and design courses. Something tickling in the back of my mind.

I went to see a medium on Friday and she was quite positive about a job change although she was more specific about promotion rather than a complete change. I did specifically ask if a career change was likely and she said possibly. Lets see what happens eh!

I must go, I am having an argument with my 3 year old about cleaning up her mess! Kids eh!...


Saturday, 27 September 2008

Art clay and beads

Knowing that I have dabbled with PMC and Art clay previously my sister has asked me to make her a pendant necklace with fingerprints of her 2 children on it. I have come up with a design she likes but thought I ought to see if I could actually do it. So....here is the result. I used my 2 girls as guinea pigs and I am completely chuffed with the result! I can make stuff!!! I truly love this and am so happy with it I am wearing it now and not sure it will ever come off!!!

Mmmm...life is not to bad again for the mo!!!


Friday, 26 September 2008

I haven't left you....

...not the best few days in the world! I will be back over the weekend but I am still here!!!

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Down in the dumps! :-(

Mmmm...not really sure why that is but I am definitely down in the dumps. Miserable cow I am today! Maybe that has something to do with the weather. It is cold and rainy and generally crap outside! Today is my day off and I don't want to go anywhere or do anything! I am really struggling with my beads at the moment. Sometimes I really feel like I can do this lampworking thing and then other times I honestly wonder why I put myself through it! It is hard to explain without sounding pompous but I am (I guess!) a needy person. I need to feel wanted, I need to feel like I am worth something to someone and selling beads leaves me wide open to the possibility of rejection.

2 weeks ago I sold the majority of my stock from my website, I haven't had a sale since. Now I completely realise that these things happen, my work is not everyone's taste etc etc etc but the little voice just on my right shoulder is saying "loser, told you you were crap at this, give up".

I am sorry for being so bloody melodramatic, crisis in confidence. I have no imagination at the moment for bead designs I am struggling to make stuff and this is not a good time. I have just borrowed £200 from my parents to pay for my stand at the Big Bead Show and I am going to fall flat on my face! I sit there with pen and paper and nothing, nada, zilch happens. I sit in front of my torch and ditto! I have made 2 sets on monday but they are just about as basic as you can get. Plain small donut bead with random dots whoopee!!!

Why do I do this to myself, this is supposed to be a hobby that I make a little money out of to "feed my glass habit" and now I am putting myself under pressure knowing I don't do well in these situations!


Right....enough Samantha.....pick yourself up and stop wallowing in self pity! Cheer up you miserable cow or no-one will read this blog let alone visit your shop and gaze lovingly at your wonderous goodies you make.

I am going now to make an effort with my daughter and to try to stop being miserable. I will return!!!

TTFNx (PS sorry!!!)

Sunday, 21 September 2008


...at last I have got some new stock on my website. My poor hubby has been a bit unwell so a couple of days later than I planned but we got some pictures done and I have just posted them! I have kept some back for the bead fair in November and I need to get going this week on doing more beads!

I have had a fairly bead free weekend actually. Today was spent down the beach watching the kite festival. We went to the festival last year and really enjoyed it. Both Tony and I enjoy kite flying - not just your general little kite but we dabble in (beginner!!!) stunt kite flying! Follow this link for an idea of what I mean! http://www.teamspectrum.org.uk/ This website is one of the exhibitors flying today. Carl is one of 2 men in the UK who can fly 3, 2 line kites at the same time. That means he is in control of 6 lines at any time! Tony has just asked me to let you know that that is one kite in his left hand one kite in his right hand and the 3rd controlled by his hips!!! (and a harness!!!) Pretty spectacular stuff really.

I quite fancy powerkiting!!!!

I have got some pictures of the various kites but haven't downloaded them yet I will post them when I have!

Ah well, best be off

Saturday, 20 September 2008

My little rant

Why are there patronising people around? My poor grandad fell and cut his head open on wednesday evening so a trip to A&E followed. As he is 82 years old and had fallen they wanted to admit him. My grandad refused! He is mentally competent and fully capable of making up his own mind but the hospital were a bit unhappy that he wanted to go home! Anyway, my sister and I refused to coerce him although we were a bit unhappy to let him go home we respected his decision.
When the nurse came along to review his scalp wound she spoke to grandad and said that he was going home against medical advice. Her attitude towards him was completely patronising there was a total lack of respect for him and generally I felt that as he is 82 and had fallen he was obviously stupid and should be treated as such. I was so angry I couldn't even put a coherent sentence together and I just left the cubicle. Both me and my sisters are qualified nurses and were quite frankly disgusted at the lack of respect. I teach nurses now and one of my principles is that all patients should be treated with respect and that is not just my that is a general principle supported by our code of conduct etc. How dare she speak to my grandad like that, who the hell does she think she is. Needless to say I spoke to the nurse in charge and raised my concerns which were taken on board.

Anyway my grandad is fine, nice black eye and big cut on his head which has been glued!

I have not had any time to do beads lately and my planned photo session for tonight has had to be postponed cos my hubby is not well! I am beginning to get withdrawal!!!

Sorry for rant, normal service will be resumed soon promise!!!

Friday, 19 September 2008

Today is my birthday...

...my hubby has sprung a surprise evening out on me so all things beadie cancelled for tonight! That includes the photo session I had planned to get stock up on the website so I know I said new stock would be up by the end of the week but I am going to have to extend that a little!!! Tomorrow hopefully.

Not much else to say really I do have a rant but it can wait till I have a bit more time to share it with you or maybe not we will have to see, I guess it depends if I calm down or not!

Ah ha...cup of tea waiting for me so I am off, just a short post today, I will return tomorrow!

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Today is my day off...

....yipee!!! I have gone part time in my "Day Job". For those of you who don't know my other job is university lecturer. I have been doing this for 6 years full time and before that I was split 50:50 with the hospital I worked in. My other trade is nurse! So beading is quite a long way from being a nurse but you would be amazed at the amount of nurses I know who are arty! Intriguing!

So anyway today is my day off and what have I planned. Well...nothing actually. I am waiting for the postman (again!) cos he should have some goodies for me from Martin Tuffnell (one of the people I buy my glass and lots of other stuff from). If it arrives I will have a fab evening in the studio (shed!) tonight. I have managed to keep production up despite struggling for ideas a bit. I have made 5 Belita beads and all 5 survivied the core process which is brill cos just before the summer my success rate was dropping and I was getting a bit despondant about them!

I went to Greece back in May for a friends wedding and whilst I was out there is came across loads of tourist stuff with the "Evil Eye" design which is basically layered dots. Anyway I have had this image in my mind for ages but wasn't sure if I could use it for a design I liked and then I made a bead using the design very basically and I have a lovely set of beads! I have not taken pictures yet so I can't show you but they will be photographed soon and put up on the site.

Cos my shop has very little stock and I have the Big Bead Show in November I have to get my butt in gear and get making stock so this is a poor time for my mojo to go off! But at least I can do dots with my eyes closed (not literally!!! thats asking for trouble, flames an all that :-) ).
Gonna play with some etching as well I think I quite like that effect so maybe things are not quite as dire as I thought.

Anyway off now so will catch ya later, thanks for reading my blog!
Later...I have added a photo of a few of the beads I have made this week for your delectation. they are not on the website yet cos I need hubby to take decent pictures! But a few to get your interest piqued.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

I've discovered something else...

...it is not just about what music I listen to when I torch but it is also about planning! If I go to my studio (shed!) with no real ideas about what I am going to do I flounder. I stare at the glass with no real concept of what I want to do, which colours go together or even any idea of design. Yet when I spend a little time with a pen and bit of paper jotting down ideas beforehand I find myself able to put something together. Sometimes I do find that once this happens and I have made my "planned" beads then I can get into what if I do this or would that work! Mmmm...spontaneity is not my strong point methinks!!!

Something else occured to me earlier as well. I wonder if you (avid reader) wonder where I get Saffie from. Not wanting to disappoint you I will share this with you. Samantha is very often shortened to Sam and when I was a kid wasting time down the arcades on the seafront there were loads of Sam on the high score tables so I decided to use Saf instead of Sam. Saffie just came from there really and I use it quite a lot in forums etc! I did really want Saffie's beads for my business name but someone else had already bagged the domain name so I thought about it and decided on Aurorabeadz instead. Z instead of S cos it is a bit quirky (may not have been the best idea business wise on the internet: people search beads with an S and not generally with a Z but aurorabeads was already taken, ok it is in Australia but it was already taken!) The reason for Aurora is that I have this strong desire to see the Aurora Borealis sometime in my life and I was reading Northern Lights by Philip Pullman when I was thinking about a company name so Aurora it was!!!

So there you go some more useless information for you! But I do quite like sharing stuff like this with you guys cos it gives you bit more of an insight into me!!!

Right best be off, dinner is cooking and I got beads to make tonight. Got to fill my shelves!!

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Hoorah for the weekend...

It's Saturday once again. How sad that we measure our lives in weekends (or I do anyway!) Is that indicative of something???
Anyway not a bad week overall teaching restarted at work so I got a bit busier, 2 weeks time it really kicks off in earnest. I am teaching 3 days a week and have one day a week off so my other day is going to be a bit hectic I think but hey ho! I am finding it a little hard at the moment getting my head around working for 4 days a week but basically getting 5 days a week work crammed in. I still have lesson prep etc to do and I really do try not to work at home in the evenings not least because evenings is my time for the torch.
After successfully selling a large proportion of my stock (thank you Lesley I hope you like them!!Please send me pictures!) I have been getting my head down a bit to re supply the shop. The tricky thing is that I have "The Big Bead Show" on 1st November and I need stock for that so I have decided that half of what I make will go up on the website and the other half I will keep back for the show. Gotta decide what to put up for sale and what to keep back
Mmmm...so what else to report? Imogen has settled into senior school quite nicely. I think we have all fallen back into the morning routine quite nicely, always seems quite a shock after 6 weeks off over the summer. It is getting damper in the mornings now and I don't imagine it will be long before the heating has to go on...actually perhaps I should stick it on for hour or so just to check it is running ok!
Not a lot else to report really. Keep your eyes peeled on the website new stock will be up by the end of the weekend.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

wow what a day...

Hi there. Well my weekend away was lovely. The weather was not to grand but we had it mild compared to the west of the country! Spa was fab as usual and just generally chillin was really nice. I knwo I have just had summer holidays off but this was just me with some mates all just kicking back! Not children, no housework etc!! Nice!!!

When I got home I found that there was an email waiting for me on the website asking for a price on all...yes you heard right ALL of my beads. Not my silver core beads but all of the others!!! OMG!! and then today this same lady bought em all!!! I am now totally cleaned out of stock, well almost. Don't get me wrong I am stunned and dead chuffed that someone likes my work and bought it. But... I have a show in a around 6 weeks and no beads!!! AArgh!!!

right anyway had an evening on the torch tonight and made a few I think are quite promising! will do show and tell tomorrow hopefully!

Getting late off to bed now so see ya tomorrow

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Whoo hoo girly weekend looming...

This weekend is the annual Center Parc 6 jaunt to...yes you guessed it...Center Parcs. This is the 3rd year we have done it and should be fab except for one thing. One of our number is currently in hospital and it is looking unlikely that she will make it with us. Gutted...!!!
This weekend consists of 6 friends generally chillin out in some fantastic scenery. We treat ourselves to a spa session, we take our bikes, we go riding. We eat drink, go swimming and just have a wicked time! 3 of the gang are childminders so they get an opportunity to get away from the kids for a few days so do us mum's! Leave the children with the men!!!
I can't wait I do enjoy this weekend, may be the last one for a couple of years cos things are a bit tight finacially and although I could save cos it isn't that expensive it is a bit unfair on the OH that I get a treat and he doesn't. So next year off then start again the year after! Anyway next year the youngest starts school!!!

What else is there to report? Imogen's first day at senior school went well, she only got lost twice!!! She came home full of it and seemed to thoroughly enjoy her day. I walked her to school again this morning but I think that may be it now, street cred and all that!!! As long as she does not walk alone I am cool with it!

Bead wise things have been very good today I have sold 3 things from my site overnight, I get a real buzz from that. Not making money but that someone likes the look of my stuff enough to want to buy it. What a cool feeling! The money I do make from my beads goes straight back into feeding my obsession with glass! Basically I am feeding my habit!!!!!!!

I am really interested to know who else reads this blog or if I am talking to myself... There is a follower gadget to the right of this page. Please take the time to sign up so I can see who follows me!!!

Right I best be off, got work to do!

Later...in fact about half nine!!! What a waste of time putting my kiln on I made a load of tut this evening. I knew I was due a bad evening but why today!!! I got some new glass from CIM and wanted to play and nothing went right! AAARRRGHHHH!!!! that's it for 4 days now what a shitty note to end on for a few days eh!!! oh well, can't win em all i guess!!!
See you on 9th

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Day 2

So today is my second day back at work...and I am marking again already!!! Think it is post holiday blues but everyone seemed at little down when I got to the office yesterday! So...Hopefully things wil brighten up. Not the blessed weather though. It is raining cats and dogs here today!
Where does that saying come from? So in true off the wall Sam fashion here is strange but true fact of today!!! The probable source of 'raining cats and dogs' is the prosaic fact that, in the filthy streets of 17th/18th century England, heavy rain would occasionally carry along dead animals and other debris. The animals didn't fall from the sky, but the sight of dead cats and dogs floating by in storms could well have caused the coining of this colourful phrase. http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/raining%20cats%20and%20dogs.html
so...now you know!!! I tell ya come along an read my blog and you just never know what little factoids you might come away with eh!!! maybe that could become a regular feature! What do you think avid reader? would this be a nice little feature..not daily but maybe weekly! Mmmm...something for me to mull over!
Bead wise I am making stuff still, but haven't listed yet this week. I have managed to get a stand at "The Big Bead Show" in November so I need to get making so I have enough stock to do this! Follow this link for more info https://www.ashdown.co.uk/library/Thebigbeadshow/2007/index.asp

OMG what have I done! scary....

Better be off work to do an all that but I will be back soon